Roland Chin Tai-hong, the only candidate for president and vice chancellor of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), said it is inappropriate for the city’s chief executive to be chancellor of a university.
Chin said no other university outside Hong Kong has a chancellor who is the top political leader, such as the president or governor of the state, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
He was speaking Wednesday at the second of three additional consultations requested by the students.
HKBU bowed to their demands for more consultations last week before appointing Chin as its top official.
Student union president Morris Chan asked if the clause in the university’s ordinance that says the chief executive can act as chancellor should be scrapped.
Chin replied that he considered the clause an improper legacy of the British era and that, before discussing the issue with the government, as HKBU’s vice chancellor he would talk to its council and other universities to see if there is a need to review the clause.
It would need a joint effort and no promise can be made, he said.
Chin stressed that the most important thing is to maintain institutional autonomy no matter who is the chancellor.
Asked if he would support the idea of letting students join the HKBU council so they can vote on appointments of faculty and administrative staff, Chin said such a right is justified and promised he will propose to introduce it.
Some critics have said he is unfamiliar with HKBU’s affairs and history, but Chin, who is a deputy vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, said repeated dialogues with faculty and students can surely help him know the university better.
He said he gained a lot from the additional consultation sessions.
Chin said he will arrange regular meetings with teachers and students in the six months after he takes office.
Incumbent vice chancellor Albert Chan Sun-Chi said Chin is capable of taking over from him and deserves full support.
Council chairman Cheng Yan-kee said no immediate decision on Chin’s appointment will be made after the final consultation session Thursday.
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